With all of the holiday travel taking place this time of year, Force wants to give a huge thanks to all those working to keep our railways, tramways, and subways running smoothly and safely. Railroad maintenance affects many of us and today we want to focus a bit more on this important form of transport and the access equipment that helps keep the trains running on time.
Background: Railroad Maintenance
In Australia, we have nearly 33,000 kilometres of railways. Impressively, over 330 kilometres were opened in three short years: between 2009 and 2012. This expansion was mostly due to increased export of iron ore and coal, but public transport also contributed. Our extensive system of railroads is essential for our country’s economic infrastructure, but local railways are also a necessary part of everyday life for many Australians.
Many people contribute to the operation of railways, including conductors and signal workers, but railroad maintenance is without a doubt an ongoing and vital aspect of railroad work. Because our railways are now carrying heavier loads than ever before and are running at higher speeds, systematic railroad maintenance is of critical importance.
Railroad Maintenance Work and Access Equipment
There are many tasks involved in railroad maintenance and repair. Maintenance on interchanges is regularly required, as is upkeep to bridges and tunnels. Trees have to be kept neat and well back from the tracks. Railroad maintenance personnel need to be able to reach high points on poles, bridges, trees and embankments, and often, access equipment hire is the only way to get the job done.
For working at heights, hiring a scissor lift, vertical lifts, boom lifts or knuckle booms may be the best choice, depending on the geometry and location. Where manoeuvrability is needed, a boom lift or knuckle boom will be best for the job. For lifting heavy materials and equipment, a telehandler may be necessary.
Urban railways get worn down due to nearly constant use. Due to demand, the intervals between trains on urban lines has gotten shorter and shorter. Because people depend on regular train schedules, proper maintenance is very important on tramways and subways.
Urban trains need regular maintenance to their dust aspiration units and soot filters, and access equipment is sometimes needed to reach the vents. Of course, depots and stations are also in constant need of maintenance, as they are used so often and by so many people. Lifts and booms are used for everything from changing the globes on high-up lighting to hanging and removing signs. Many of the urban tramways run on electric power, which requires frequent maintenance to high voltage overhead wiring. Access equipment that gives the operator the utmost precision and stability is critical for working safely with electrical equipment.
Railroad maintenance workers literally keep our country running smoothly, and Force is glad that the access equipment we specialise in can contribute!